Graduate School Conference Exhibition
Sydney College of the Arts Galleries, 2012
Click here to download a copy of the conference paper:
Hayley Megan French, 2012
This paper will examine the tension between Indigenous and non-Indigenous art and the response of contemporary artists to this tension. By considering the history of this relationship, and informed by interviews with contemporary artists and curators, this paper will speculate on the present cultural and political challenges to be met. From its position as a contemporary art form developed outside the realm of the Western art world, to its confrontation of Australian history and race relations, Indigenous contemporary art has long been an area of unease in art discourse. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists experience this unease, which stems from disparate world-views, the complexities of colonial cultures and the history of Western Modernism and market forces.
Recent publications and discourse represent a significant shift in attitudes towards the value of Indigenous contemporary art in the Australian art world. The need for artists to be critically considering or engaging with Indigenous art is presenting a challenging dialogue for contemporary Australian artists.